Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grass-Fed Lamb

We eat so much meat as Americans, yet according to USDA Stats (2005), Americans consume less than 1 pound/person/year of lamb. It's a mainstay of those who come from Greece, Turkey, and India. Most lamb is typically grass-fed, so the meat is more likely to possess healthier ratios of Omega 3:6 fatty acids.

WEIGHT LOSS Tip: Energy/Caloric Density -vs- Nutrient Density

The #1 goal for those seeking the services of a personal trainer, including myself, remains weight loss. One tip I often convey to clients is to make food choices based on their "Nutritional Density." Foods and beverages that possess a high amount of vitamins and minerals are considered to be "nutritionally dense." Those foods/beverages that contain a lot of calories, yet contain a lot of sugar and are processed are often viewed as "calorically dense." The ultimate goal is to get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to making choices.

So what exactly are some selections considered "Nutritionally Dense?" Check out the following 5 (I'm happy to say I've had all 5 in the last 24 hours!):
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Forks Over Knives" Documentary Releases May 6th

"FORKS OVER KNIVES" examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline traces the personal journeys of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. Inspired by remarkable discoveries in their young careers, these men conducted several groundbreaking studies. Their separate research led them to the same startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented—and in many cases reversed—by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet. Despite the profound implications of their findings, their work has remained relatively unknown to the public.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Touchdown Turkey Chili with Shannon Allen

Seeking some new culinary ideas, I DVR'd the latest episode of The Pre-Game Meal with Shannon Allen ( In case you live under a rock or don't chat with me regularly, you'll know Shannon's husband as my man crush Ray Allen, future Hall of Famer of the Boston Celtics. The latest episode of Shannon's show featured Wes Welker of the New England Patriots. Welker and Allen (mostly Allen) prepared a few beautiful dishes, but one in particular caught my eye. She made a dish she called "Touchdown Turkey Chili." It is loaded with vitamins, fiber, and protein. Check out the full recipe below:

Touchdown Turkey Chili
Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, halved, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 green bell pepper, halved, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds ground turkey
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
1 (15-ounce) can red pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 shakes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 handful fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Coat a large stockpot with the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, peppers, jalapeño, and garlic. Season with chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat begins to brown, about 3 minutes. (If using beef, I would suggest draining off fat; but, turkey is such lean meat that we want to keep in whatever juices it has).

Add the tomatoes, crushing them through your fingers into the pot. Add the beans, hot sauce, and chocolate. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

The chili should be brown in color, thick in consistency and have a spicy, firey scent!
Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro.

Dumbbell Row

Strength & Conditioning Coach Tony Gentilcore put up a solid video this week on a Dumbbell Row variation where you get a good lat stretch. I also like the brief pause at the top of the concentric portion. This is a fantastic exercise to improve both back and grip strength.

APRIL Wellness Tips

Apples contain a soluble fiber called “pectin” that helps draw cholesterol out of your system. Shoot for an “LDL” number under 100 mg/dL.

Prevent back pain by including hip mobility drills, foam rolling, and glute strengthening/hip-dominant exercises in your training regimen.

Record all your workouts in an exercise journal. People who keep a written track of their training sessions typically succeed at higher rates than those who don’t.

Implement specific work:rest ratios as a means of progressing your fitness levels. Too many people in the gym, in my opinion, rest too long between sets based on the intensity of their workouts.

Learn new foods to try to expand your palate and diversify your macronutrient intake. Previously found in only specialty stores, selections like Quinoa, Chia Seeds, Bison, and Almond Butter are delicious and nutritious!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Am

Director Tom Shadyac was on the Oprah Winfrey Show this past week discussing his new film titled "I Am." It was a fascinating interview. Check it out here:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"So where do YOU train, Paul?"

I've been asked this question a lot over the years. Truth be told, I am not a fan of doing my own training sessions at the same place I train clients. It's just good to get away from the environment and see other faces, different equipment, etc...

I had the privilege to intern @ Boston University for Coach Glenn Harris and his staff in the spring of 2007. When the internship concluded, I continued my training sessions at what we affectionately call "Glenn's Gym" because I loved the training environment. I've befriended some incredible strength coaches and graduate assistants who have assisted me along the way. In addition, Glenn always appreciates the hip hop mixes I make for the teams.

The BU Varsity Strength & Conditioning Center was recently featured on an episode of Strength Coach TV. Check out the video above for details about the facility I love training at.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Single Leg Exercise

Here's a fantastic exercise to put in the mix when it comes to lower-body unilateral training. I'm a huge fan of Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squats. One way to load them is by donning a weight vest or by implementing a dumbbell (as show in the picture above).

For a video demonstration, please click the following link:

Martin Rooney is Insane

I had the privilege of meeting Martin Rooney at a conference last summer in Providence, RI. He works with a lot of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. The video above of him performing 10 different styles of push-ups for 100 push-ups is awesome!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Supplements 101

One of my "go to nutritionists," Brian St. Pierre, recently wrote a fantastic article called "Supplements 101." In it, he listed out supplements he takes, and often recommends to clients. I take essentially the exact same things Brian does and wanted to share his article with you. Check it out by clicking the following link:

Doctors' New Advice for Joint Pain: Get Moving!

stretching 300x199 The Importance of Stretching
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Osteoarthritis (OA) affects some 27 million Americans and leads to 632,000 surgical joint replacements a year. It is the most common cause of disability for U.S. adults, according to the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation. That number is expected to grow as the population ages: One in two adults will develop knee osteoarthritis before age 85, and the risk increases to two in three adults who are obese.

The best prescription to combat OA seems to be various forms of physical activity. These actvities include aquatic exercise, cycling, swimming, and strength training. Check out the full article here:

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cancer Preventing Tips

My approach with clients is PREVENTIVE in nature. That is, we don't wait for something bad to happen and then act on it. That would be REACTIVE, an approach too often taken in this part of the world. The Dr. Oz Show ran a piece earlier this week on cancer prevention that I thought was very good. Check out some great tips for cancer prevention here:

How to Makeover Dairy Queen Blizzards

I wanted to share a video of a smoothie that I make regularly. Dr. Chris Mohr shows you exactly how to make it. I'm so excited to be able to go see him speak live in Providence, RI in June!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Snacking at the Office

I get asked a lot about what would be considered "healthy snacks" to munch on at work. One piece of advice I offer clients is to make sure their desk is stocked with nutrient-dense, convenient choices such as pouches of salmon/tuna, turkey/beef jerky, fresh fruit, and low sodium nuts. Check out the following article for more information: